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Convicted killer, Duke alum Michael Peterson to be featured in Netflix special

Netflix is set to release new episodes of The Staircase, a true-crime documentary series about the case of former Chronicle editor Michael Peterson, Trinity '65, who was charged and convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen Peterson, Pratt '75.

The Staircase, directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, originally aired in 2004 with eight episodes. It documented the trial of Peterson, who was arraigned in 2001 after his wife's body was found at the bottom of the stairs in their home. 

Almost a decade later, de Lestrade directed two more episodes when Peterson was granted a retrial. In 2017, Peterson took a plea bargain to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter and was released from prison.

Now, de Lestrade is back with three more episodes to be released June 8. According to a Metro report, these new episodes will take a look at Peterson's life after jail and potential tampering by state authorities in the case.

At Duke, Peterson, along with being the Chronicle's editor 1964-65, was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and the Order of the Red Friars, according to the Alumni Directory. He graduated with a political science degree and went on to write crime novels. Later in his life, he was a columnist for the Durham Herald-Sun and ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Durham.


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